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Cubs’ Willson Contreras acknowledges mental toll of trade rumors

Cubs’ Contreras acknowledges mental toll of trade rumors originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Willson Contreras acknowledged the mental toll of trade rumors has weighed on him in recent weeks leading up to Tuesday’s deadline.

“It’s just hard because any time that you have a little time off, a little free time, your mind’s going right away to trade rumors or a trade,” the Cubs catcher said.

“I wish that wasn’t the case, but I won’t lie.”

Contreras, who’s in his final year of club control and is expected to be dealt by Tuesday evening, kept the outside noise from affecting his game during a great first half that led to him starting his third career All-Star Game.

Through June, he was hitting .283/.397/.521 with 13 home runs and 34 RBIs in 67 games.

His production sagged in July as the deadline and likelihood of his Cubs tenure ending inched closer. Entering Sunday’s game against the Giants, in which he went 0-for-4, Contreras was hitting .157/.272/.243 with one homer and 24 strikeouts in 81 plate appearances in July.

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“I talked to [Cubs manager David] Rice about it, and it’s not easy,” Contreras said. “You have to learn how to deal with this. It’s my first time in this position.

“If it happens a second time, I’ll have an idea how to handle it.”

Said Ross: “I don’t blame him. He’s an emotional player, in a big way. We’ve seen a lot of things that are important to him that he’s had to deal with.

“I would think that would affect anybody.”

Contreras met the media after Sunday’s game, the Cubs’ last before the deadline and likely his last with the team after 14 years in the organization and seven big-league seasons. The Cubs have Monday off before a night game Tuesday in St. Louis.

“It’s going to be a long day,” Contreras said. “It’s been a long, long week, a long, long month for me. But I’m ready for this to be over, to be honest.”

Contributing from San Francisco: Gordon Wittenmyer

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